Clean water is a human right. So how is it that, according to UNICEF, 2.2 billion people worldwide still don’t have access to safe drinking water, causing a newborn to die every minute and a child under five to die every 12 seconds?
To give perspective to 2.2 billion people, consider that there are currently 7.8 billion people living on the earth. If 2.2 billion of those people don’t have access to clean water, that means 28%, close to one-third, of the entire world’s population is lacking clean water. Statistics like these can numb us, but it’s imperative to experience each digit of data like this for what they are — a human life. Each numerical measurement we read represents suffering lives and lost lives. It means immense pain for friends and family members who lose loved ones to the global water crisis, so it’s critical to rightly humanize the impact that the lack of clean water has on fellow people and their communities. Having access to clean water provides profound benefits.
Once we care about those suffering without access to clean water, the natural next step is to inquire about viable solutions — What are feasible and maintainable ways to provide clean water to those who don’t have it?
Clean Water Is Safe Water
Clean water is safe water, which is water that will not harm you if you come in contact with it, according to the United States Geological Society (USGS). Those of us in most first and second world countries don’t have to think twice about where our clean water comes from; it’s just there whenever we need it.
From the moment we wake up, we expect to have all the clean water we need to use the bathroom, take a shower, brush our teeth, and make our coffee. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that the average American uses 20 gallons of water during their morning routine and 100 gallons of water during a typical day. One hundred gallons of water is the equivalent of 1,600 glasses of water!
Those who don’t have the human right to access clean water need our help to implement ways to provide clean water.
Holistic Care for Communities
At Healing Waters, we believe that providing clean water is a holistic endeavor. Providing clean water isn’t enough, so we implement a model that transforms communities physically, socially, economically, and spiritually. We do this by investing in people, implementing safe water solutions, engaging for long-term success, and instilling hope.
Ways To Provide Clean Water
1. Investing in People
We can’t provide clean water without investing in people. If we enter a community, set up a solution to provide clean water, and leave, we set that community up for failure. One way to invest in people is through education.
To provide clean water, we train local community leaders to maintain a sustainable model to operate a water-based business. Training includes equipment maintenance, business operation principles, and administration. These new skills allow local leaders to produce incomes for their families while providing clean water for their communities.
Health and hygiene education is another component of providing clean water. Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programs empower communities to understand how water is contaminated, how germs are spread, and how to prevent it.
Knowing that women influence their households and are responsible for household maintenance, Healing Waters invests in each community’s women with a holistic health & hygiene training approach. We empower them with the knowledge that promotes their physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
Knowing how vulnerable children are to water-borne diseases, it’s essential to invest in educating children too with health & hygiene training when providing clean water. When children are taught to practice healthy habits, they will carry it forward for the rest of their lives.
2. Implementing Safe Water Solutions
Once a solid foundation is in place, implementing solutions to provide clean water can take root. Requirements for these safe water solutions include:
- Removing unsafe substances from water, including viruses, parasites, etc.
- Reliably safe systems that remove any risk of operator error through separation membrane technology
- Custom design to fit the unique needs and available resources of a community
- Custom-sized so the right amount of water is produced
- Custom configuration to meet the power sources available in a community: solar, grid, or gravity alone if necessary
- Systems that can utilize a range of water sources
- A bottle sanitizing station so safe water can be put into clean bottles
- Affordability of all system components so the water system is sustainable
- Affordable water for the entire community
3. Engaging for Long-term Success
Engaging the community for long-term success goes hand-in-hand with investing in people. It would not be responsible to provide clean water by installing a water system and walking away; compassion requires us to engage with the communities we serve to train they how to be sustainabile so they can experience long-term success.
One way we can do that is by maintaining a long-term monitoring and evaluation plan. Data about water output and community impact gives us opportunities to see where things are working effectively and where we can make improvements.
Another way to engage for long-term success in providing clean water is by supporting the local leadership through ongoing communication and visits. Face-to-face visits along with virtual check-ins allow local leaders to stay connected and address potential challenges.
4. Instilling Hope
People with hope are people who are free to thrive. As we provide safe water solutions, we also instill hope in the people and the communities we serve.
Join Us To End the Global Water Crisis
When we think about ways to provide clean water, it’s easy to think in terms of just safe water solutions. But providing clean water is so much more than that. It requires investing in people, implementing safe water systems, teaching for long-term sustainability and instilling hope to be truly successful. Together, we can end the global water crisis. Will you join us at Healing Waters today?
We’re on a mission to end the global water crisis. We build holistic clean water solutions and spread God’s love in at-risk communities around the world, empowering people not just to survive, but to thrive – physically, socially and spiritually.